The Funambol SyncML server might be a great product, but it just doesn’t work for me. I had promised to have a closer look at it, and initial dry runs against Funambol with Lotus Domino looked quite promising. After getting my Nokia N70 I attempted to get it to synchronize with Funambol, but that didn’t work out as smoothly as I’d expected. The plugins for BlackBerry don’t work at all; the sync4j version at least attempts a connection, whereas the Funambol version doesn’t. Oh, and while I’m ranting, I couldn’t get Nexthaus’ SyncJe Client for Lotus Notes to do anything against any SyncML server I tried. What did work (a bit) was Tsync, the SyncML extension for Mozilla Thunderbird; interesting though, what the author has to say about Funambol! It was a bad weekend as far as SyncML goes… ;-) synthesisOne bright light did shine though: the Swiss Synthesis AG have a product named Synthesis SyncML Server, which worked immediately. I had a look at both the Windows and the Linux versions (, and the product works as advertised. The product isn’t quite inexpensive; it starts out at around EUR 1950, but their demo is available at no cost to use (the program does announce Demo Version Expiring after 2006-12-31). The demo version doesn’t use an ODBC datastore, relying on tab-separated CSV files instead, which is probably more than enough for a single user. Unfortunately, while attempting to synchronize a second mobile phone, I screwed the missus’ address book; although using a userauth.txt file for user authentication, I couldn’t get Synthesis to separate our databases from eachother; I hope that is simply a misconfiguration on my part; does anybody know whether the demo version supports multi-user? What I also liked was the single binary and the single XML configuration file which is very clearly commented. Synthesis also has a version which can run under control of the Apache web server, but unfortunately I couldn’t test that as it belongs to the “PRO” version. That is the version I’d really like to have for about five to ten users, and of course at no expense. :-) I note, that the SyncML Compliant Products page lists Synthesis AG but neither Funambol nor its older name sync4j. Update: c’t 14/2006 has an article describing the installation of the Synthesis SyncML server and a pointer to a free license code for use of the “PRO” version.

Linux, BlackBerry, Apache, SyncML, and Mobile :: 19 Dec 2006 :: e-mail